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Positive Guidance for Young Children: Be Consistent

Young children are learning to manage their behaviors and feelings. They may need many reminders of what appropriate behavior looks like. Clear directions from adults in a calm, firm tone of voice help children know what to do.

  • Teach expectations
    Talk about how you expect children to act in a group, at meal times, and during cleanup times. Show them what you mean by modeling the desired behaviors.
  • Respond consistently
    When adults are consistent with consequences and responses, children will understand what has happened in the past and what they can expect in the future.
  • Keep a schedule
    When children are tired, hungry, or thirsty, it is more difficult for them to engage in appropriate behavior. Keep a consistent schedule so children’s physical needs are met.
  • Use natural consequences
    Children learn through cause and effect. If your child spills crackers on the floor, have her help pick them up.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home
  • Family Child Care
  • Child Care Center
  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family
  • Teachers / Service providers
  • Faculty / Trainer

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2020